laptop configuration

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laptop configuration

Postposted on Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:37 pm

OK, so in preparation for the October Frankenbot event, I thought I'd start by installing the client on my laptop. I can see this is going to require a bit of tuning. The laptop runs a quad core i7 with HT and an ATI 7700M. The GPU is kind of weak for folding; but, every work unit counts, right?

I started with the default settings, and with Folding Power set to Light, which is the recommended setting for the laptop. I let it run for about half and hour then pushed it to Full, to see what would happen. Now, the GPU is active; but, the F@H client has spawned 16 threads in total, and pushed the CPU to it's thermal limits causing it to throttle. I'm generating results about 40% slower on the CPU now, compared to when it was set to Light. With the GPU running there is another work unit being processed in parallel; so, there is some advantage. Comes to about a 30% faster throughput overall.

Does this match what you all have seen? Any suggestions from the experienced guys for where I should start with the tuning (thread limits, core affinity, % cpu limits)? Or, should I just set it to Light and let the client program run the default settings? This is my primary home office machine. I would prefer the fan not be running 100% throttle 100% of the time while I'm sitting at the desk; but, for the sake of Frankbot, at night it can run.
mnecaise
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Re: laptop configuration

Postposted on Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:26 am

Hello and welcome.

What version of the client are you running?

Back in July, I noticed that my own i7 laptop was only bringing home 6,000-7,000 points per day; compared to October last year when it was netting 21,000 PPD for Frankie. It was blowing hot air out the back all day and all night. It's still a viable and reasonably fast laptop, so after about 3 weeks I decided not to put the hardware through unnecessary wear and tear. I shut down the client.

I didn't really try to tune it, not since my workstation, which is better at ridding itself of heat, brings in so many more points.

Not sure what kind of tuning you can really even do when it comes to folding, especially if it's throttling itself due to excessive heat. I would suggest maybe you try to hit it with compressed air and see if you can blow out some cockroaches. If you live with birds, cats, dogs, Furbies, Alf, or hairy/furry people, then there may be a very good chance that the laptop is clogged with detritus.
BIF
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Re: laptop configuration

Postposted on Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:23 am

I'll blow it out with compressed air, just to be sure. It's less than a year old but spends a lot of time in a bag, travelling back and forth. I've noticed this laptop has a WIDE dynamic range for the Turbo Boost. It's listed as a 2.2GHz processor. Right now, with F@H limited to running on two cores, the clock speed of the active cores is 2893 MHz. I've seen it hit 3.2GHz for short bursts on a single core. When it was throttling last night, it was down to 2.1GHz. There should be a balance somewhere such that limiting the number of threads (and active cores) keeps the thermal effects under control and maximizes the core clock speed, resulting in maximum processing throughput.

Client version -- I grabbed the default Windows install from the Stanford site. Looks like build 7.3.6 dated February. FahCore 0Xa3. oops, its a 32-bit build. Perhaps there's a 64 bit build that will perform better.... Edit: No, there's not. Stanford site only lists an x86 build. Task Manager clearly shows it as a 32-bit application.

Looks like I'm generating results at a rate roughly 9,000 points per day on this machine. (sample size of 1/2 day, based on estimated ppd). I think it can do better.
mnecaise
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Re: laptop configuration

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:52 pm

I just fired up my Toshiba Satellite P755 with a i7-2670QM @ 2.20GHz, 8GB ram, and sadly Intel HD 3000 graphics. I cleaned up the HDD, downloaded a new AV since the one that came with it was out of date, updated Windows7 and other house keeping chores. Went and got the F@H client installed and running. After letting it run for a few hours it looks like its going to put out 10k or so points a day.

Sounds like we are in the same boat on laptops mnecaise.

I wonder if I can slap in a better GPU in this thing?
Khali
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Re: laptop configuration

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:39 am

Well, I think the xA3 CPU work units we're all probably getting lately are not as good performers and don't return as many bonus points as the A4 CPU WUs, which don't do as well as the x17 GPU WUs.

It's kind of hard to compare too much when you're getting work units that are on the trailing edge of the trailing edge. I usually get 110-120K PPD, but the last three days I only earned in the 80-90K ranges and was getting a lot of the A3 and some very long-running A4 Work Units. I think we just have to work through the weeds here before we get back to lush green grass.
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